Category Archives: Bud Meyers

Baby Boomers not to Blame for lack of Jobs

by Bud Meyers | December 16 2016

Baby Boomers are not to blame for the dramatic rise in the number of people “not in the labor force”. Retirees and those on disability are making for a smaller and smaller share (on a monthly basis) as to the number of people “dropping out” of the labor force.

A little over half (56.8%) of those in the U.S. who are not employed and “not in the labor force” receive some form of Social Security. To date (12/16/2016) 54 million working-age American adults are receiving Social Security benefits (retired, disabled, widowed, etc.) out of a total of 95 million working-age American adults who are not in the labor force.

Only 18% of the additional people who the Bureau of Labor Statistics added to the category of “not in the labor force” since last month had retired on Social Security (as the number of those receiving disability DECREASED); the other 82% of those who were added to the category of “not in the labor force” are just without jobs, but are not counted in the 7.4 million who are “unemployed”. From November 2016 to December 2016 (over the past month alone) the U.S. had an additional 366,275 people NOT IN THE LABOR FORCE that did NOT retire or go on disability.

41,174,259 Nov.
41,082,060 Oct.
92,199 MORE people retired

8,833,909 Oct.
8,821,435 Nov.
12,474 LESS people on disability

A difference of 79,725 who are now on Social Security since last month and are no longer in the labor force — from a total of 446,000 additional people who are now “not in the labor force” from Nov to Dec. Over time, more and more people “not in the labor force” have been exceeding the number going on Social Security because there has not been enough job creation to keep up with those graduating from school (not comparing to population growth or the employment-to-population ratio because of foreign-born workers: Foreign-Born New Hires Outpace Native-Born)

Continue reading Baby Boomers not to Blame for lack of Jobs

As many jobs created as those who left work force under Obama

Bud Meyers | September 12 2016 

14,770,000 net new jobs were created since January 2009 when Obama first took office — and according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, most of those went to foreign-born workers: Foreign born workers / Native born workers — And the U.S. has 13,862,000 more working age Americans not in the labor force since January 2009 since Obama first took office.

For the sake of argument (to give the Obama administration the best benefit of the doubt), we’ll assume that all 8.7 million people who lost jobs during the Great Recession have either went on disability, retired on Social Security, were incarcerated (criminally or medically), passed away, left the country or found another job — and not a single one is officially counted as “unemployed” today (as of September 2016).

Since Obama first took office in 2009, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. has averaged over 3 million high school graduates every year during his tenure (24 million total during Obama’s time in office) — and many, probably most, have went on to college for a certain amount of time and then either dropped out or graduated from college (and we can assume that most of them have attempted to enter the job market).

Net new jobs created under Obama per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (in thousands)

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-10-36-20-am

24 million graduates during Obama’s tenure
-15 million jobs created during Obama’s tenure
– 9 million jobs short (minus those who have either went on disability, left the country, was incarcerated (criminally or medically), passed away or left the country — and we have almost 14 million more working age Americans “not in the labor force” during Obama’s tenure.

Continue reading As many jobs created as those who left work force under Obama

Will Obama and Lame Duck Congress pass TPP Trade Deal?

Bud Meyers / March 26, 2016

Just imagine . . . it’s late at night on Christmas Eve and lightly snowing in Washington DC when President Obama calls for a special midnight session with Congress, while most Americans might be at home sleeping or wrapping presents. The very last thing on their minds was some newfangled international trade agreement. After all, the mainstream media (who’s been busy bombarding them with Holiday commercials for weeks) has hardly even acknowledged that such pending legislation for a trade agreement had even existed.

The last time many Americans had heard any real and meaningful discussion about the TPP trade deal on cable news was when MSNBC (which is owned by Comcast) still had their host Ed Schultz on the air. But the very next day he was fired from MSNBC after having Senator Bernie Sanders appear on his show on July 29, 2015. That was when they had discussed Hillary Clinton’s reluctance to offer a clear and concise opinion on the TPP trade deal. (A month before on June 26, 2016 Comcast executive vice president David Cohen had hosted a $2,700-a-plate fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It’s all a quinky dink, right?)

Here is exactly what Hillary Clinton told Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston in a TV interview on June 16, 2015 about fast-track (TPA), and the program for re-training displaced workers (TAA) and the Asian trade agreement (TPP). Hillary Clinton had only opposed the trade bill if it excluded the funding for re-training displaced workers (TAA). She clearly seemed to support both the TPP trade deal and fast-track, and was only taking a stand on assistance for displaced workers — which, at best, is only a mediocre program that does very little for millions of workers who lose jobs to foreign low-wage countries. Just two days before that interview, she was explaining how Obama should get fast track.

Continue reading Will Obama and Lame Duck Congress pass TPP Trade Deal?

Foreign-Born New Hires Outpace Native-Born

by Bud Meyers, published January 31, 2016

Job creation from January 2007 to December 2016

= 3,070,000 Foreign-born workers added / Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve (FRED) Foreign born workers
+ 2,358,000 Native-born workers added / Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve (FRED): Native born workers
= 5,428,000 Total net jobs added to labor force over the past 9 years*

* The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 6,031,000 net jobs were added to the labor force from January 2007 to December 2015 — for a difference of 603,000 more jobs than what FRED shows. (See the table further below.) According to FRED, the U.S. had 712,000 more foreign-born workers added to the labor force over the past 9 years than native-born workers. So even if the difference were added to native-born workers, foreign hires still exceeded native hires.

foreign-native-born

Monthly Jobs added to Labor Force

Continue reading Foreign-Born New Hires Outpace Native-Born

Jobs, Unemployment, Not in the Labor Force, Jobless Benefits & More (Jan. 2016)

by Bud Meyers, published January 15, 2016

Jobs Created

Keep this in mind when reading this post. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS report on January 12, 2016: “Over the 12 months ending in November 2015, hires totaled 61.2 million and separations totaled 58.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.6 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.”

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

In 2010 the US created 1.0 million domestic nonfarm jobs
In 2011 the US created 2.0 million domestic nonfarm jobs
In 2012 the US created 2.2 million domestic nonfarm jobs
In 2013 the US created 2.3 million domestic nonfarm jobs
In 2014 the US created 3.1 million domestic nonfarm jobs
In 2015 the US created 2.6 million domestic nonfarm jobs

jobs-00

Since the onset of the Great Recession to the present (from December 2007 to December 2015), excluding the 8.7 million jobs lost during the economic downturn, we had a NET GAIN of 4.7 million jobs. We broke even in February 2014. Via the St. Louis Federal Reserve:

jobs-01

The Unemployed

Continue reading Jobs, Unemployment, Not in the Labor Force, Jobless Benefits & More (Jan. 2016)

Current and Historical Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices — 1918 to the Present (Jan. 8, 2016)

by Bud Meyers, published January 8, 2016

As of January 6, 2016, in the country that nationalized their oil industry, the cost for gasoline is still the cheapest in the world at 6¢ a gallon — which is less expensive than water!

For the world’s largest producer of oil, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Saudi Arabia is $0.87 per gallon. In the U.S. it’s $2.27 a gallon. For a comparison, the average price of gasoline in the world is $3.70 a gallon. The most expensive gasoline in the world is in Hong Kong, at $6.91 a gallon (so be sure to tank up before driving there).

Continue reading Current and Historical Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices — 1918 to the Present (Jan. 8, 2016)

Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton on Paid Family Leave

by Bud Meyers, published January 9, 2016

While Bernie Sanders was in Iowa yesterday, he called for paid family and medical leave in a short news conference. No cable news stations broke in to their regularly scheduled programming to air this LIVE — like they do every time Donald Trump speaks at a rally. (His press release is here.)

Hillary Clinton explained her proposal for paid family leave, and it shared a lot with other politicians’ plans: 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child or a sick family member or to recover from an illness or injury. The difference was how she plans to pay for it. Her plan differs from the Family Act (co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders and congressional Democrats). It would offer similar benefits, but would be paid for by new payroll taxes.

The “Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act” or the FAMILY Act would create an independent trust fund within the Social Security Administration to collect fees and provide benefits. This trust would be funded by employee and employer contributions of 0.2 percent of wages each, creating a self-sufficient program that would not add to the federal budget.

Benefit levels, based on existing successful state programs in New Jersey and California, would equal 66 percent of an individual’s typical monthly wages up to a capped monthly amount that would be indexed for inflation. The proposal makes leave available to every individual regardless of the size of their current employer and regardless of whether such individual is currently employed by an employer, self-employed or currently unemployed, as long as the person has sufficient earnings and work history. In this way it would apply to young, part-time and low-wage workers.

For example, the average woman worker earning the median weekly wage would only need to contribute $1.38 per week (for a total of $72.04 per year) into the program, and even the highest wage earners would have a maximum contribution of $4.36 per week, or $227.40 per year. This means that for less than ONE tall brewed Starbucks coffee ($1.85) or about the cost of ONE venti latte per week (over $4) we could create a program that will be so beneficial for our families.

The average full time working woman earning the median weekly wage would receive a total of $5,514.48 if she took the full 12 weeks of paid leave. Operating the trust fund through the Social Security Administration would enable the program to capitalize on a number of administrative efficiencies thus decreasing the need to create new bureaucracies.

Hillary Clinton has always said that she won’t raise taxes on “the middle-class”, who to her means, anybody making up to $250,000 a year — which is the top 1% of wage earners. A centrist/moderate Republican-LITE Democratic think tank (known as Third Way) said Clinton is “outlining an approach to taxes that should lift the sagging fortunes of middle-class families — and attract votes.”

Continue reading Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton on Paid Family Leave

Poll: Americans are Broke and Angry

by Bud Meyers, published January 5, 2016

A new survey conducted by NBC, Esquire and Survey Monkey shows nearly half (49%) of all Americans in an online poll of 3,257 adults say they feel angrier today than they did a year ago — while 42% say they’re just as angry (and only 8% say they’re less angry).

According to the survey:

  • The least angry household-income brackets: the very rich ($150,000-plus) and the very poor ($15,000 and less)
  • The most angry: the middle of the middle-class ($50,000 to $74,999)

* My notes: According to Social Security wage data, 2.9% of all wage earners make $150,000-plus — and 31.7% of all wage earners make $15,000 and less — and 9.7% of wage earners make between $50,000 to $75,000 a year. So while this may be a true “middle-class wage” (as the survey defines), most U.S. workers don’t come close to earning this. Don’t confuse what can be described as “middle-class” to what the actual middle-of-the-middle is for all wage earners, which is $28,000 a year — which is known as the “median wage” (50% earn more and 50% earn less). In contrast, Hillary Clinton believes $250,000 a year is “middle-class”, when that is actually in the top 1% of all wage earners.

Continue reading Poll: Americans are Broke and Angry

Hillary Clinton vs. Senator Bernie Sanders on Guestworker H-1B Visas

by Bud Meyers, published January 6, 2016

In a nutshell: Judging by the past, Hillary will most likely support importing more cheap labor to displace more American workers and further depress domestic wages — whereas, Bernie most probably won’t.

clinton-H-1B-visa

[Editor’s note: This is a post about the late Steve Jobs, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders — on H-1B guestworker visas — and about the tech industry and their false claim about a “skills gap” — and how more and more Americans are graduating from college, but still not finding work — and why we have depressed and stagnant wages — and what it all comes down to: Corporate greed and the politicians who support corporate greed. Read through all the links. For the most part, the Republicans aren’t mentioned in this post because, generally speaking, most of them support bringing in more foreign guestworkers for lower wages to benefit big and powerful corporations — which is primarily the GOP’s bread-and-butter.]

Business Insider ( January 8, 2015) At a dinner meeting [fundraiser] with Obama, Steve Jobs told him there should be a program where foreigners who earned an engineering degree could be given a visa to stay in the US — when at that time Apple employed 700,000 factory workers in China, plus 30,000 engineers to support those workers.

Politifact: (November 22, 2011— which they rated Mostly True) Michele Bachmann said Steve Jobs told President Barack Obama that he had to move a great deal of his operation over to China because he couldn’t find 30,000 engineers to be able to do the work that needed to be done. Steve Jobs stressed the need for more trained engineers and suggested that any foreign students who earned an engineering degree in the United States should be given a visa to stay in the country. Jobs said Apple had 700,000 factory workers employed in China, and that was because it needed 30,000 engineers on-site to support those workers. “You can’t find that many in America to hire. These factory engineers did not have to be PhDs or geniuses; they simply needed to have basic engineering skills for manufacturing. Tech schools, community colleges, or trade schools could train them. If you could educate these engineers, we could move more manufacturing plants here.'”

Business Insider (October 24, 2011) When the Republicans were blocking the “Dream Act”, Steve Jobs said it should be amended to give foreign engineering students visas to work in the United States. Jobs said the Obama administration was not business-friendly and said it was impossible to build a factory in the United States due to regulations and unnecessary costs. Apple had 700,000 factory workers employed in China, where it was much easier to build and run a factory. Jobs also said the American education system was “hopelessly antiquated” and crippled by teachers’ unions. Apple’s factories, for example, needed 30,000 skilled engineers — something the U.S. education system was not producing. He suggested the President completely overhaul the system and proposed an 11-month school year with days that lasted until 6 p.m. – – “You can’t find that many in America to hire,” he said. “If you could educate these engineers, we could move more manufacturing plants here.”

Continue reading Hillary Clinton vs. Senator Bernie Sanders on Guestworker H-1B Visas

Unemployed Youth and College Grads drive decline in Labor Force

by Bud Meyers, published December 28, 2015

And it’s mostly for a lack of jobs, not because old people are retiring. That’s why young people should join a political revolution.

Reuters just reported (December 24, 2015) “The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, nearing a 42-year low as labor market conditions continued to tighten in a boost to the economy.” The St. Louis Federal Reserves shows that initial claims for jobless benefits are indeed at historic lows, but not for the reason Reuters or others in the media claim.

The media is total B.S. — The number of jobs created haven’t kept up with the number of high school and college grads. Just because less people are receiving jobless benefits doesn’t mean more people are finding jobs — or that less people are unemployed.

Although the Great Recession didn’t officially start until December 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics didn’t begin showing consecutive monthly job losses until February 2008, lasting until December 2009 (over a period of 23 continuous monthly losses) totaling over 8 million. Last year in 2014 it was reported by the L.A. Times (among other media outlets) that the economy recovered all 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession (which officially ended in June 2009).

Continue reading Unemployed Youth and College Grads drive decline in Labor Force